October News





Wednesday, October 31 - Gruesome Halloween Pictures

No kiddies, that's not that fake blood they sell in packets at the costume store. That's the real thing. However, don't be alarmed, nothing illegal went on here tonight.

Here's his partner in crime, Atlanta, slicing and dicing a huge slab of raw flesh.

What were they up to? Well, first you should know that we worked some of our calves today. We had a helicopter come and gather some of our "wild and free" stock that live down on the river and are extremely hard to catch.

The helicopter swoops down to try and force stragglers through the gate.

The red cliffs in the background are where the river is. That's where these cattle have been hanging out. It's too far to bring them all the way to the pens on horseback. Some of them are too wild to stick with you that long.

The pilot is Dusty Whitaker, son of some of our friends, whom we first met when he was about 8.

Once they were in the pens, they had trouble with one 3 year old heifer that we had never been able to catch before. She kept jumping from one pen to another and bending up gates and panels. She finally jumped completely out onto the wheat field pictured above. She was headed for the neighbor's fence. Nathan decided to just shoot her since he'd probably never catch her again. So, they had to butcher her that night so the meat wouldn't be wasted. Cim and Laredo and Atlanta helped get the meat into coolers and on ice to be processed another day.

Monday, October 29 - Harvest Moon - It was really too dark to get a good picture of this beautiful full moon rising, but I tried. I just couldn't hold it still long enough. The shutter was opening and closing very slow to try and compensate for the low light.

Sunday, October 28 - In the Trenches - Stockton was digging around in the front yard this afternoon having the best time.

Rusty was sitting nearby.


Thursday, October 25 - Sunday, October 28 - Texas Shindig - The older kids and a couple of friends spent the weekend with other homeschoolers in Big Sandy, in far east Texas. They had a big time but were very tired from the long drive when they finally made it home.

Stopping to stretch their legs and go in a few shops in Whitesboro. (from left, Cim, Jordan, Atlanta, Beth Horn and Laredo)

The girls really enjoyed this shop devoted to everything scrapbooking.

The guys were excited to visit this antique and gun store called The Blast and Past.

Arriving late meant setting up camp in the dusky light.

On Friday, they found some old friends, Sophie, Isabella and Clara Covey.

Atlanta and Jordan seem to be having a grand time.

Kayla Alexander, Aspen and Beth Horn.

Time for fun and games.

One day they even went canoeing on the lake.

The warm sun made even the grass a good napping spot.

More games.

Time to start for home. On the far right is Jessie, a friend of Jordan's from Tennessee that was able to meet the group for the weekend.

Thursday, October 25 - Surprise Discovery - While out at the barn feeding, Stockton's spotted one of our guinea hens that we had given up for coyote food long ago. She was trying to get in the door of the hen house where the other guineas were excitedly calling to her. Then Stockton noticed she had four baby keets with her. Since guineas are notoriously poor mothers, we gathered up the little ones and brought them inside to a hastily constructed brooder.

Aspen left town just today with the older kids. Won't she be surprised on her return?

Stockton's Salad Days - Not to be outdone by Jordan, Stockton fixed some dishes for our supper tonight. He made a salad for mom with greens he grew himself, and fixed garlic toast, too.

Monday, October 22 - Jordan's Biscuits - We had a special treat for supper tonight. Is there anything this boy can't do?

Sunday, October 21 - Birthday Bird Cage Gets New Residents - I helped Aspen today and we put a tarp on her new "dog kennel" and built a small enclosure out of highway signs (with a little help from Jordan). All this was to insure that the new inhabitants of this pen will be cozy and safe.

Aspen's peafowl don't quite know what to make of it all.

These road signs have been the most useful items over the last 10 years since we finished our TXDOT sign job. I don't know how we could have got along without them.

Now her peacock has room to grow. It will take another couple of years for him to reach maturity and sport the infamous peacock tail feathers.




Saturday, October 20 - Birthday Party Barn Dance - We traveled southwest to Brownfield, Texas to celebrate Kacy Pogue's birthday. They're some new friends that we met through Atlanta's blog, Story of a Seamstress. Kacy and her sister, Janessa, enjoyed reading Atlanta's posts and subsequently their family attended a couple of our most recent dances.

This pile of gravel was in the parking lot of the VFW where the dance was held. It didn't take Stockton long to join these boys at the top of it.

Shooting the breeze outside before the dance, from left are Jordan, Cim, Caleb and Anthony Phipps, Laredo, Nathan, Quint Phipps and Wes Alexander.


Atlanta and Jordan pose in front of a pretty sunset.

Audrey Alexander, Josiah and Elaine Phipps and Carolina happy to see each other after too long apart.

Kacy had a great turnout for her party and everyone had a great time.

Friday, October 19 - Visitors from the West - We enjoyed spending the day with Granny, Sunny, Jim and Hannah, visiting and watching the girls ride Carolina's horse.

Hannah's lost a few teeth, but still has an very engaging smile.

Everyone enjoyed a walk on this beautiful October day.

Sunday, October 14 - Sad Day - The day itself was very beautiful and began with this breathtaking sunrise. However, we soon discovered that Stockton's horse, Gus, had suffered all night with a bout of colic and was not in good shape. Windy traveled to Ralls to meet Granny who picked up some new colic treatment in Lubbock for us to try. It was guaranteed to work in all but the worst cases, those that had "twisted" intestines.

We hoped that it would work in Gus' case, but although it did indeed make his bowels begin to work and rumble, he never eliminated anything, despite walking him around on and off all day. Monday morning we gave him another bottle of the colic treatment. At lunch time he was walking around and drinking water and we were optimistic. But when we checked on him an hour later, he was gone.

This is Gus on Sunday night. We were still somewhat hopeful that he would pull through.

Saturday, October 13 - Well Truck Switcheroo - Nathan needed one of his well trucks to have 4-wheel drive. He solved the problem by taking the lift elements off the truck he got several months ago from up north and putting them on his Dodge pickup.


Here's another picture of Nathan (a man obviously outstanding in his field) checking his newly planted wheat seed and talking on the phone.

Friday, October 12 - Mambo's Visit - Last Saturday, the 6th, Nathan's mom came for a week long visit. The kids have been in hog heaven and having more fun with one of their favorite grown-ups. Here they are striking out on a walk.

Carolina and mom are working on a digital photo book together.

Atlanta and Jordan are taking a break on the front porch.

Later, Windy helps Carolina give Coconut a trim in the front yard.

Stockton's holding up a tree in the front yard.

Mambo's new car. She picked it up in Jayton on her way here. Laredo bought her old pickup.

Carolina wants to go riding again.



She gets Atlanta to help her catch Stars and Bars, her horse.


She's very grateful to be a ranch girl.

Thursday, October 11 - Autumn Colors Sunrise

 Aspen's Birthday Present - Yesterday was Aspen's 15th birthday. We took her to Tractor Supply to let her pick out a gift. (Doesn't every 15 year old girl dream of shopping there?) Georgia had kicked in a gift card and we added to it.

Here she is with her peafowl hutch, which they had long since outgrown.

These unusual geese are some new variety in which Aspen's invested. They are called, Sebastopol Geese.

Here's what she picked out. A chain-link dog run to house her peafowl.

Atlanta and Carolina decide to have a little horse time.

They get Carolina's horse saddled.

Now Atlanta spends a little time working with Pixie in the round pen.



Monday, October 1 - "Hands On" Science Class - Stockton found these two mating walking sticks. You have to admit, this is not something you see every day. (although the odds of seeing pictures of strange and weird things is pretty high on this website).

Saturday, September 29 - Day Without the Big Kids - The four older kids and Desarae Phipps went to Amarillo today. Atlanta bought a couple of antique pieces off craigslist she needed to pick up, Aspen had some geese to pick up, Cim needed to work on some stuff at the Hernandez' house near Canyon, Atlanta and Desarae wanted to hit a few antique shops, and poor Laredo volunteered to drive the pickup and trailer all over Amarillo for them. Meanwhile, Carolina and Stockton had a fun day around the house.

They corralled Nathan early and engaged him in a game of Sorry.

Nathan got Stockton back later in the front yard.

Carolina and Coconut played hard on the trampoline.

Then Coconut crashed.



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